Cream of Tartar


The secret to voluminous meringue: add cream of tartar to egg whites before beating.
This white powder (potassium bitartrate) is derived from crystalline acid deposits that form on the inside wine barrels during wine making. As an acidic ingredient, it has several uses in the everyday kitchen. It makes creamy frostings and candies, prevents sugar syrups from crystallizing and gives beaten egg whites extra volume and stability. Cream of tartar is also added to baking soda to produce commercial baking powder.

Buying Tips

Cream of tartar can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets.

Storage Tips

Store tightly sealed, in a cool, dry place for up to one year.

Usage Tips

• To stabilize beaten egg whites, add 1/8  teaspoon cream of tartar per egg white before beating.

• For meringues, use 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar for every two egg whites.

• When making candy, add 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar for each cup of granulated sugar.

• To remove stains from an aluminum pan:
Fill the pan with water and add 2 tablespoons cream of tarter for every quart. Gently boil mixture for 15 minutes. Let the water cool in the pan, then scour lightly and wash well.

Substitution Tips

• When cream of tartar is not available, substitute 1½ teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar for each ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar (three times the amount).

• 1 teaspoon baking powder = ¼ teaspoon baking soda %20 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar.

• 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk %20 1¾ teaspoons cream of tartar.


Try one of our favorite cream of tartar recipes:

Mile High Biscuits
Banana Pudding
Snickerdoodles
by BigOven editorial team
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